September 20, 2023

Goucher College announces largest gift ever from an alumna

$10 million gift will support construction of Science Innovation Center

Goucher College is delighted to announce that Judy C. Lewent 70, an accomplished business executive who retired in 2007 from Merck & Co. as executive vice president and chief financial officer, and her husband, Mark Shapiro, have pledged a $10 million lead gift to support the construction of Goucher’s Science Innovation Center, a $40 million expansion of Goucher’s existing Hoffberger Science Center designed to meet the demands of science, today and into the future. This commitment is the largest single gift ever made by a living alumna to Goucher College. The donors have also established a challenge to inspire others to support the project. Upon completion of the challenge, the center will be named the Judy C. Lewent 70 Science Innovation Center. The gift also increases the total donated to the [UNDAUNTED] campaign, a $100 million comprehensive campaign publicly launched in 2018, to $96 million. 

With nearly every Goucher student having to take some form of a science course, the Science Innovation Center will support the success of future generations of students. Building the Science Innovation Center is the final stage of Goucher’s [UNDAUNTED] comprehensive capital campaign. The annex to the Hoffberger Science Building will offer state-of-the-art labs and learning spaces and create dynamic new interdisciplinary learning environments.

“The Science Innovation Center is a wonderful reflection of the qualities of passion, courage, resilience, and vision, four key words that have guided me throughout my career,” said Ms. Lewent. “The passion Goucher is demonstrating for preparing students for a successful future in the sciences. The courage it took Goucher to recognize the need for a place to elevate its science facilities to solve global challenges. The interdisciplinary, collaborative work in the center leading to discoveries that contribute to global resilience. And the vision to transform the science enterprise at Goucher with a bold reimagining of its historic home.”  

The 44,000-square foot, LEED-rated Science Innovation Center will ensure that Goucher students can become global changemakers in the dynamic fields of molecular biology, biotechnology, biochemistry, chemical engineering, environmental science, neuroscience, and genomics. The center’s advanced laboratories will provide purpose-built research and teaching capabilities. Open lab layouts will promote the sharing of scientific ideas, enhancing interactions between students and faculty for interdisciplinary STEM projects and encouraging exploration and connections across fields.

“Goucher already has a rich history and commitment to giving students the tools and research they need to excel as they pursue advanced studies or career opportunities in STEM fields,” said Kent Devereaux, president of Goucher College. “In fact, more than 40 percent of our sciences majors have gone on to pursue advanced degrees, and more than 60 percent are working in STEM fields. Also, over 1,000 students have graduated from our prestigious Post-baccalaureate Premedical Program in the past three decades.”   

[UNDAUNTED] campaign chair and Goucher trustee Robert Bull ’93 added, “As the last capital project of the [UNDAUNTED] campaign, I am thrilled to be a part of this celebratory moment in Goucher’s history. Of the three campaigns that I have witnessed as part of the Goucher community, this gift in this campaign best exemplifies how our alumnae specifically partnered with Goucher to ensure success. This gift speaks to Goucher’s legacy, leadership, and philanthropy.”  

The Science Innovation Center will be a hub for research, with faculty and students working closely together, leading to new discoveries, and launching meaningful careers in medicine and the sciences. One-third of Goucher science faculty have received government funding for their research in the past five years. Goucher was also honored that the state of Maryland recently endowed two professorships in support of scientific research and innovation and has committed $4 million to the center.

“Our sciences graduates are critical thinkers, problem solvers, and global changemakers who hold positions in scientific firms and institutes around the world and professorships in sciences at esteemed institutions,” said Ms. Lewent. “There are so many paths to a successful career in the sciences and so many ways in which the sciences and other disciplines are intertwined. In my own career, for example, I found that the application of sophisticated business analytics to research and development projects helped foster successful innovation. I am excited to see how future Goucher graduates will make a positive impact on the sciences and our world.”  

Named one of the best national liberal arts colleges, most innovative colleges, and best colleges for study abroad by U.S. News & World Report, Goucher College provides the academic and career experience that helps students become who they are meant to be. Located in Baltimore, Maryland, Goucher believes in the power of global education and offers flexible study abroad programs at no additional cost. With a range of in-demand programs and small class sizes, the core curriculum equips students to collaboratively address complex problems, successfully navigate a global economy, and tackle humanity’s most pressing issues. For more information, please visit and follow Goucher College on X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and TikTok